Ogier takes early Rally Italy advantage

Sebastien Ogier

Sebastien Ogier holds the early advantage in Rally Italy after winning the opening stage in the Ittiri Arena.

The Ford Fiesta was 0.1s faster than Andreas Mikkelsen in the stage which saw two cars start at once on a rain-drenched two-kilometre stage.

In his heat, Ogier had been 0.7s faster than Thierry Neuville, while Mikkelsen dispatched Ott Tanak in their head-to-head encounter.

Neuville sits third in the classification in the Hundai i20 with Elfyn Evans fourth ahead of New Zealander Hayden Paddon.

The lead Toyota is that of Esapekka Lappi, who holds down sixth place.

Rally Italy moves on to traditional competition on Friday with two loops of four stages each to the north-east of the Alghero service park, a total of 124.18km of competitive driving.

Rally Italia Sardegna: After Special Stage 1 (Top 10)

Pos Num Driver Nat Team Car Time/Gap
1 1 Sebastien Ogier FRA M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC 02:02.7
2 4 Andreas Mikkelsen NOR Hyundai i20 WRC +0.1
3 5 Thierry Neuville BEL Hyundai i20 WRC +0.7
4 2 Elfyn Evans GBR M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC +0.9
5 6 Hayden Paddon NZL Hyundai i20 WRC +1.6
6 9 Esapekka Lappi FIN Toyota Gazoo Yaris WRC +1.7
7 3 Teemu Suninen FIN M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC +1.8
8 7 Jari-Matti Latvala FIN Toyota Gazoo Yaris WRC +1.9
9 12 Mads Ostberg NOR Citroen C3 WRC +1.9
10 8 Ott Tanak EST Toyota Gazoo Yaris WRC +2.5

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